Treble Fringe First winning, San Francisco-based The Riot Group won every major award at the Edinburgh Festival 2003 with this soaring and timely premiere dissecting the American military's hunt for evil in foreign lands.
Pugilist Specialist introduces four highly-trained American Marines who are assigned the task of eliminating a troublesome Middle Eastern leader. The play unfolds in a series of field recordings detailing the planning, execution and mishandling of modern political assassination.
Pugilist Specialist opened at the Soho Theatre and Writers' Centre in January 2004 at the start of a three-month national tour. The company also made its professional American debut in New York in September 2004, and toured internationally.
'Mesmerising...San Francisco's Riot Group brilliantly dissects the US military mentality...dazzling acted. SHOULD NOT BE MISSED BY ANYONE.'
Michael Billington, The Guardian
'Remarkable theatrical impact. Shaplin's dialogue has the touch of a poet.'
Nicholas de Jongh, Evening Standard
'Bold and Skilful entertainment...serious talent bursting with ideas.'
Time Out Critics' Choice
'Dazzling...bayonet-sharp dialogue and razor-sharp style. Shaplin at 24 is already a writer of striking authority and intelligence and his piece, expertly delivered by the cast, hits its targets with precision and force.'
Sarah Hemming, Financial Times